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Extra carriages mean "improvements" for passengers

These extra carriages will provide significant improvements for passengers on some of our busiest services. We will be able to lengthen many peak trains from 8-carriages to 10-carriages, providing extra space for our commuters. There has been a significant amount of work to do in bringing the carriages up to the standards we require for our passengers. We are pleased to now be pressing ahead with plans to introduce the first 10 carriages in mid-March.

– Christian Roth, Fleet Director for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance

Extra train carriages introduced to ease overcrowding

More carriages will be introduced on South West Trains Credit: ITV Meridian

South West Trains passengers will see the first additional train carriages being introduced onto their services next month to help provide extra capacity on the UK’s busiest commuter network.

A total of 108 extra carriages will be introduced over the next 12 months, with the first 10-car train being rolled out on the London Waterloo to Windsor line from mid March.

The additional carriages, representing an investment of £65 million, are set to provide capacity for an extra 23,000 peak time passengers every day.

Unions "concerned" with rail staff workload

The union TSSA say they have been concerned at the amount of work staff have been doing. But train operators say they have brought in extra staff to cope and they are not aware of any complaints from staff.

One call centre worker at the SWT call centre in Southampton told ITV News it "had been manic" since the start of the year but they were "rising to the challenge." He said staff had never seen anything like it but were doing all they could to answer calls and letters.

He said managers were not only supportive but helping all they could.

Everyone across our business, in common with the emergency services and other agencies, is working extremely hard to deal with the impact of the storms and manage the associated higher level of contact from customers. We have more than tripled the number of staff who deal with customer relations over the past year and we have also recently taken on extra temporary staff to help with customer correspondence.

– Steven Stewart, Director of Communications at Stagecoach

Extra rail staff called in to deal with bad weather

Extra train staff have been drafted in due to the bad weather Credit: ITV News

The recent bad weather has led to a flood of calls, emails and letters to train companies in the region as passengers ask for help about services, thank staff for doing all they can to help and claim compensation.

South West Trains, the biggest operator in Europe, say they have been inundated with passenger enquiries with four times the usual amount.

The company say staff are dealing with around 10,000 passengers a month when they would normally expect around 2,500.

So many are contacting the call centre at Southampton extra staff have been drafted in.

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Warning from Environment Agency

The Environment Agency says the whole of the south of England is at an "increased risk" of flooding today. The agency's flood risk manager, Kate Marks, said that as high tides and large waves threaten the south coast, further rain on already saturated ground could lead to river flooding.

With further severe weather conditions expected in the coming days, the Environment Agency is likely to issue further warnings so people should check their flood risk and get early warnings so they can take action to protect their property."

– Kate Marks, Environment Agency
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